For the past few years, with the rising popularity of social media marketing, many businesses have embraced it to increase their online presence and sales.
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter with over 1 billion users worldwide and 4.9 million in Australia in 2011 (diamond2013) has created a new avenue in selling and promoting products and services with the help of the internet and mobile technology.
First of all, we should understand what Social Media Marketing is. According to Forbes (2012), “digital marketing is about building lasting relationships through earned and owned media”. To put this simply, SMM is using various tools such as social networks, blogs, podcasts, videos and more to create a relationship with your target audience and then convert them into customers.
The most effective way to achieve this is to establish a long-term strategy and daily, monthly or weekly shows to engage the audience and keep the conversation going. A good example of this is ‘The Today Show’ on Channel 9 in Australia. It airs every morning from 6am until 9am. It is hosted by three people, starting off with Karl Stefanovic who opens up the show. The other two presenters are Lisa Wilkinson, who takes care of the news headlines, weather forecast, etc., and Richard Wilkins who presents travel news, the latest movies and interviews famous people.
They broadcast all over Australia but also can be viewed online. This show is very popular among Australians because they get the latest news straight from the source, not from other media outlets so they trust them more.
SMM is growing at a fast rate. It has become an essential part of online marketing strategy for small business owners to large corporations. When it comes to choosing the right tool, you should always go for what works for you. If you are running a small business then you should use Facebook, Twitter or YouTube to get into contact with your clients and promote your products or services. If you are a big corporation you should use social networks to interact with your fans and even create your own network. However, there are many other things you can do to make your business grow faster. You can do cross-promotions with other businesses or brands by giving them free products or discounts to boost your sales.
Forbes 2012 http://www.forbes.com/sites/eugenekolovski/2012/09/26/5-powerful-ways-to-use-social-media-marketing/